Meet NBL, the young Saudi producer shaping the region's evolving sound.
Updated: Oct 29
Born and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Nabeel aka NBL has been producing for over 7 years and he continues to expand his knowledge in the music scene. He started out working within the Hip Hop genre and it became his favorite, however, he also experiments with R&B, trap and AfroBeats. One thing that makes NBL stand out, is the fact that he always tries to include Arabic elements in his music, to represent the region and push the envelope forward. At 19 years old, NBL is working towards building a strong Arab based Hip Hop scene by reaching a high standard of quality through the mentor-ship he received form industry legends.
what was your first interaction with music?
I've always been in love with music, it's always been an essential part of my life. I remember listening to the Blueprint for the first time, life-changing!!
-Who were your first musical inspirations?
I've always had a deep love for HipHop, specifically the complexity in the production, and the creativity that comes with it. Pop music always seemed too similar, HipHop is always changing. Producers like Timbaland and Kanye were always doing the craziest things, and it always sounded great.
-When did you make your first production and what was that like?
This was actually a pretty funny story. It was the first week of Summer 2015, I downloaded Audacity on a busted-up Macbook and I tried to remix Whistle by Florida and Payphone by Maroon 5. The result was horrible...
-How would you describe your experience growing up as a music producer in Saudi?
Back then, there was no environment whatsoever for musicians experimenting with English music, it was a very isolating experience. The greatest time for me was finally meeting and getting to work with our circle, it was like finally getting to be around like-minded individuals who are all striving for the same purpose and actually making progress doing so.
-How did you come to develop your unique production style?
To be honest, I don't feel like I've fully mastered or completed a certain sound. I still need to work on including more Arabic sounds in my production, as well as making it more relatable to the people. But for now, I feel like my music has a blend of inspiration from Toronto to Brooklyn-style Hip-hop and Rnb, as well as Nigerian Afrobeats and Caribbean Afrosoul.
-You’ve recently worked on an exciting project with Amazon for the Saudi National Day campaign, can you tell us about that and how it came together?
I mean that was all thanks to Noor Taher and Adel Al Ghamidi, their support and advice are what made it all come together, it was a beautiful privilege and it helped me learn so much about commercial projects and working with an International market. I love the Amazon Saudi team, it was an absolute pleasure working with them. Big things coming soon!
-Who are 5 artists from the region you think we should look out for?
Obviously, I gotta shout out the greats; Saud, Jeed, Ntitled, but there are a couple of others that are doing amazing things and making huge moves behind the scenes. AZIZ.wav is one of them, he's one of my favorite artists to work with, and is a trailblazer in the Middle Eastern music scene. The same goes for Kali-B, who recently released a disco record that I'm addicted to! He brought disco to the region! Hani Zein is also making big waves in the scene, put him up against any Sudani rapper, there are levels to him!
-Who are 5 artists you dream of collaborating with?
My answer to this question never changes. Belly, Amr Diab, HOV, J Cole & Nas
-From the beginning of your journey until today, what are the 3 most important things you’ve learned?
Marketing, marketing, marketing!!! There is nothing more important than marketing yourself! I still struggle with it to this day. Social media is such a powerful tool that needs to be taught. Taking a course in Social Media marketing is essential for any artist in the region or around the globe!
Check out NBL's music at: https://songwhip.com/nbl
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